Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Aug 03

Hydro-Hydraulic Energy Invention

Posted in Energy Inventions | Hydro Power

Hydraulic Pakistan inventor Sarfraz Ahmad Khan has been working hard to develop new hydro technologies like this hydro power invention. His latest concept features the run of river active setup of micro hydro power generation blended with basic principals of hydraulics. This concept explores the possibility of transmitting the (collective) mechanical power gained from run-of-river hydro setup by converting it into hydraulic pressure. The sum-up of hydraulic pressure will make the main generators work. The basic concept requires hydraulic systems that can help to us to gain some reasonably good mechanical advantages. The hydro-mechanics will convert the mechanical force into hydraulic pressure. The collective hydraulic pressure shall be utilized to rotate the generator shaft.

Hydro Electric Power
SketchUp File | Download SketchUp

Why include the hydraulic system?

As we know, if we produce a run-of-river micro hydro active system, the cost may be lower but on the other hand the output is not very significant. If we produce a large number of hydro rotors we will require an equivalent numbers of generators. In this concept we will collect the mechanical energy of Rotors spinning by the effect of high velocity river, into the hydraulic pressure by the help of input pistons. The hydraulic pressure gained from multiple set-ups of run of river rotors can be collected in an active hydraulic pressure chamber. By using the interchanging valves this pressure can be consecutively transferred to the output pistons. So the output piston will work to rotate the shaft of generator.

As a result we will have large numbers of rotors to utilize the sum of their mechanical force. We will need to install only two appropriate size generators for higher output. This theme can cut the cost of many small scale generators and instead of installing a row of generators we will have to install only two generators.

Hydro Power Invention

What are the Ideal Locations?

a. Barrages.
b. High-velocity rivers with narrow width, remarkable downward slopes that are near glaciers.
Note: As we know the barrages constructed for agricultural purposes do have very good pressure of water streams under the gates. As the infrastructure of barrages or gates can hold this system, so the mechanical energy of powerful stream can be converted into the electricity.

Help evaluate these hydraulic modules:

I do have a number of questions in my mind like”¦

  • What would be the mechanical advantage?
  • What kind and what size of input / output pistons shall work?
  • What kind of fluid will be appropriate to use in hydraulic system?
  • What type of interchanging valves shall be used, and which types are commonly used in market?
  • How feasible is this concept in terms of maintenance cost factor?


Multiple rotors can collectively and actively work to produce electricity using only two generators. The cost of generator claims at least 30 to 40% proportion of Micro Hydro setup cost. Now we can cut the cost of large number of generators required and benefit from:

  • Environmentally friendly power.
  • Multiple setups in one row.
  • Job creation in hilly areas.
  • Low cost, higher outputs.

Problem Areas:

  • Hydraulic components cost and maintenance.
  • Risk factors with regard to the enormous hydraulic pressure.

Hydro Electric Generator
SketchUp File | Download SketchUp

Working Details:

For a better understanding of these 3D Models please download the following sketchup files:

The 3D models illustrate how the rotors convert water into hydraulic pressure and how the sum of hydraulic pressure is used to rotate the generator shafts by using output pistons.

System Components:

  • Rotors working upon the basic principal of run-of-river water wheel methodology.
  • Input pistons (part 1 of hydraulic module)
  • Hydraulic pressure chamber.
  • Interchanging valve.
  • Output piston (final part of hydraulic module)
  • Generators.
  • Infrastructure for electric power stabilization and distribution to nearby grid or local populations.

Estimated power out-puts under ideal conditions:

Average Width of River – 12.20 Mt
Average depth of River – 2.00 Mt
Average Flow of stream – 22 ˜ 25 Mt² Per Sec
No water head available but the velocity can produce the effect of 1 Mt head.

As we have the assumed readings for each rotor output – the possible final output after transmission of power into mechanical to hydraulic – and respectively hydraulic into mechanical force will surely result in energy loss. Therefore the efficiency factor can be driven after some expert professionals assess the design concepts.

Hydraulic Hydro
SketchUp File | Download SketchUp

Request for analysis and conclusions:

I request that professional engineers specializing in the field of hydro power and hydraulic components see the model and post their valuable comments, or rate this concept, whether is it workable idea or not. If there are any changes or up modifications required I will open to discuss all the features. My contact details are as follows:

Sarfraz Ahmad Khan

109-West, Blue Area, Islamabad, Pakistan.



Fax: 0092-51-2828409
Cell: 0092-322-5106080
Res: 0092-51-5576127

  • shoaib

    Well Done, Good work, Keep it up.

  • Shayaan

    Hi, This is so simple to understand, I’m not an engineer but this seems so good to be true.
    I’m a Chartered Accountant by profession, I offer you my support. I wish If I had the resources would have done something to assist you. Don’t know what those fat a** people in out science and technology ministry are doing …

  • syed shoaib zahoor


    This seems to be a good project. I am an mechanical engineer and it can work, but the thing is you have to approved this project by govt. agencies before doing it.


    Well done!

    I am not a engineer but it is very simple to understand. Keep it up and don’t stop and try to get it approved and bring this project on ground. It looks alright especially in our Pakistan where we have so many opportunities with rivers and canals. Good luck!

  • morteza

    I don’t know.. why don’t you use directly energy?

    And at first convert it to pressure… you can connect hydro rotor to generator without convert the energy to the pressure, and u can reduce the destruction of energy. And you can use a wheel with high mass to moderate the velocity of rotation.

  • Bluebeard

    Seems like a great written project for a junior high school attendee, but utterly functionally implausible when it comes to implementation.

  • gmoore

    I can make the above work without the following listed below:




    and reduce the size….. let’s talk.

  • Fender

    It’s always good to think of new concepts for renewable energy, but this idea does not seem plausible to me. From looking at the sketch up at full scale (with human in background), it seems like you would be covering large areas of rivers with this system. In this day and age with proper environmental considerations in place, this will not be possible. This being said, I do think that this system could be put in place in smaller human made canals, where there are less impacts on river ecology, such as current changes, silt transport, and fish kills.

  • cesar jaramillo

    Dear Sir: I looked through your project and seems well. I do have a similar idea, but in a smaller scale in which high grade hydrogen is produced for buoyancy and the redundant electricity is selling to the grid. Do I make sense? For me, electricity is an input and a byproduct, while hydrogen, demanded in 99,99% purity is the final good. I come form the Economic Sciences, so costs and prices drive me. Best of luck, and keep working on such wonderful ideas.

    César Jaramillo
    Costa Rica

  • zach

    Hey I’m a mechanic and engineer for 2-stroke engines i like your idea. Great idea, I was looking at your project and I was thinking what if you used a series of belts to power your generator just to make it a little simpler but like i said great job!!!

  • Edwin

    I thought this concept has been implemented before. My advice to you is to do your research on other countries that have the similar industry as yours. The wheel/ pulley/ belt concept are more practical and cost effective to optimized your design. My background is ME.


    It seems workable but take in to account the spacing of rotors since they are connected to a common flywheel the differential speed of the rotors, due differential flow rate of river, would reduce the output . Part of the output would actually be eaten-up by the system for synchronizing the speed of the rotors. Better to have independent system with input to the final stage.

  • Harold

    I like your idea, I have recently been playing with Gear pumps and came up with the same concept for wind turbines. In an area where wind is slow, it may be necessary to connect three wind turbines to turn one generator. I believe that the efficiency is good compared to belt driven because the hydraulic connection can connect turbines that are 20 or 30 feet apart. You just can’t do that with a belt!

    When you consider that each aditional turbine would cost 30% less than the first (no generator)I believe it makes sense.

    I must agree with the idea that the impact on a waterway would be large, but look at the impact that has been accepted in many communities throughout the world.

  • paul dimaggio

    great idea, very hard to put in use. besides, the vertical movement to adjust for tides is important, as well as debris in the water. Very tough to get approvals. keep going! good stuff…pd- inventor of GMAX-

  • j ford

    Good idea,

    Yet the efficiency lost through the hydraulic system could hinder the output power generation

  • Attiq

    Hi Gmoore

    can we have an online meeting our power generation without water, Wind and Solar.

    If interested plz mail me at attiq[AT]

  • George


    First, it is amazing that internet is enabling this co-operation sans boarders. I am appreciate the idea of combining the energy into high pressure fluid. It allows spacing the turbines far apart without gears, belts and the problems associated with different individual speeds. A few thoughts. Well, when i started writing i did some math.

    Water at 1m/s speed through a 1 square meter cross section, means 1 cubic meter of water -1000kg -flowing at 1m/s, has a kinetic energy 0.5 x 1000 kg x 1 m/s x 1 m/s = 500 Joules. Assuming that the flow is constant, it gives 500 Watts. For a 12m x 2m river, it is 12 kw per turbine. We will be able to tap only a fraction of this. That is good and bad. Bad that we are running at lower efficiency. Good that the water slowed down by first one is used by the second. Well, then it runs at slower speed if it is close by.(different speeds – no belts, chain – clumsy) Otherwise we will have to keep the second turbine(?) down the stream so that flow attains the lost speed. Again, if if the efficiency is low, and they all rotate at comparable speed, close enough, we may be able to extract more with more number of them. My wild guess is 50% efficiency. We need to consider the losses due to this hydraulic system (friction in piston, friction of un-compressible fluid on the walls of the tube, efficiency). This combined with the efficiency of the rest of the system, we might get total 25% efficiency. I am not sure of even that. This massive structures giving only 3kW may not be so bad. We need to consider – at what cost. If it can be built at say even at $5/W ($15000) it is worth trying. Finally everything boils down to $(or any currency) per watt in large scale. I also share the environmental issues.

    The working fluid is water here. If it is something else more compressible, say air, although we loose some heat while compressing it, we can store energy in air cylinders. I read of some cars running on compressed air. I can also imagine similar pistons for wind turbines. Thereby reducing the cost of generators/stress/fatigue on top of wind turbines.

    Bangalore, India

  • Paul DiMaggio

    Your concept is great, I agree that gears and pulleys are bulky. However, the fluid or air going to the “Cylinder or tank” must also not be pulsating coming out the other side spinning the generator. I’ve come across this problem with my invention “GeMax”. My solution was a holding tank brought up to preasure, then a secondary tank evenly distributing power without pulsing (I’m using water)..

    Paul DiMaggio-

  • Umar Farooq


    I am a mechanical engineer. I would like to congratulate Mr khan for his wonderful invention and wish him luck for all his endeavors. I am pondering over this invention. I find some improvisation in theis design. Sarfraz I want to discuss with u regarding this invention. Hopefully next month because I am busy in my exams these days. Best of luck.

  • Imran rashid

    Aalamo alaikum
    I don’t know where have you got up to with this idea as i said before it looks possible.Have you contacted some body in order to put this idea into reality, there may be some complications and you may need to bring some changes in your design but hardest thing is to take the first step which you need to take, and we blessed with one of the greatest cannal system in our region which can be ++ point in this regard. Please keep us up dated with your project as people like me far away from Pakistan are always eager to hear any success story from Pakistan. God help you and give you courage to carry out your good job.

  • Amol

    This is one of the great idea I ever seen. I am trying to explain this to my prof. He is Ph.D. in hydraulic power generation. Will you please send the more details about this project? This concept is excellent and we are interested in study this further. Please please forward some more information about this. We will be greatful to see this concept working successfully.

    Congratulations for this great concept, Please kindly send the details on my E-mail ID


  • I French

    If you have interest in making your comcept into a production item, please contact me at the above e mail address. I own several factories engaged in various forms of energy and energy related products.


  • Paul Purcell

    My friend

    I think that you would be much better off starting with a system that works on simple pulleys, belts and smaller generators. One massive hydraulic leak and you would have nay sayers lined up at your door and around the block. Don’t forget you can increase the speed of the flow of the river by using concrete forms in the river to create a smaller port for the water to flow through. Don’t forget the power yield from a fluid is a logarithmic one not a direct one. Your looking to increase the speed of the fluid. By creating many smaller units you will find the necessary parts and equipment easier to come by. Not to mention installation and maintenance costs will be lower. My background is in industrial mechanics. Let me know what you think. I’m a Canadian Citizen who is looking for a little bit of intrigue and adventure working in a different country. If anyone out there reading this is looking for a person with an industrial mechanics background and who like to think and work problems to a solution drop a line! pvpurcell[AT]

  • mickster

    Check out national geographic 2009 overview much better system works with less power like fish.

  • Paul DiMaggio

    G-Max-is a tidal Flow activated device to make electricity. The first prototype and test have gone very well. I hope to post some drawings soon so i can hear your opinions. Hopefully, an interested engineer can help me with some calculations for a percentage of the potential profit.

  • Azmat Ali Shah

    The idea is good but it can be made more simple. Why not use canals coming directly from Barages like Sukkar,Guddu,Taunsa and Ghulam Muhammad Barages. Water through pipes can be flowed from either sides of the canal to water turbine at a certain slope;run the turbines with the water momentum to produce power.Smaller turbines can be installed at distances of 200 M on the entire feasible length of the canal. Experts can design capacity of generator in the system. I am sure,in view of availability of above types of canals in Pakistan, we are sure to produce more than 10,000 MW electricity from one canal only. There are so many types and designs of hydel turbines available in the markets. We can also select some floating types of such equipment for use on rivers. I have pondered on such opportunities in our country,which are immense, the problem is that our high tops do not want to give any facility to our common people. They want to keep them involved in their personal problems of bread, water, power etc.

  • roger

    I am working as and am a qualified mechanical engineer. Came across this site by researching water hammer and ram pumps.

    Your idea appears good on the surface, but not very realistic, I can think of a dozen issues just by looking at your pretty design, if you want to make use of water streams, study turbines, for a little bit of non conventional go a little on a limb and read on Victor Schauberger.

    But should you want to stick to the above concept you may want to use compressed air for the power transfer medium, and when you talk reciprocating hydraulic machines be prepared for mega bucks, inefficiency, high maintenance cost. Another words stick to direct reduction drives, with smaller generators. Remember this, “simplicity”, and you cannot go wrong.

    Best of luck

  • Paul DiMaggio – G-Max

    Roger, your comment is appreciated. “Direct Drive” never thought of that. Coming up with challenges in the transfer of power for my device G-Max. I’ve ruled out belts & pulleys. Now using pressure tanks- water as the fluid. Seems to buffer the pulsating action inherent in the device by controlling the outgoing valve on the serving tank directly into the pelton turbine. The holding tank/s seems to be the answer for temp storage of this fluid energy.

    Using a direct drive method, could there be some sort of “slip gear” to buffer the pulsate’s? I wonder if there are systems in place now that are similar?

  • Alwi

    Bad idea. The first waterwheel will absorb a good deal of water energy and the second in the row will gain less energy and third almost nothing. Besides there is no such strong, cheap and light materials that could withstand a large force of fast wide river. And a small scale device will bring almost nothing because there is no much energy in the streaming water inlike in the falling one. Complicating system with extra things like cylinders make this device much expensive, unefficiency and unreliable.

  • michael doerner

    Neat! What about using augers or helical forms instead of planar blades to reduce pulsing and maybe increase power input? And there are carbon fiber belts on the way! Peace to you and yours from Missoula Montana.

  • reshma roy

    This is a good project. We are doing an environment project in India ,as a part of our course in Engineering. Thank you for your valuable ideas.

  • Niklas


    I’d like to add something: Since electrical machines prefer a higher speed of rotation, you should consider using hydraulic motors and pumps instead of pistons/con-rods.
    After all, you can save all the transmission when you invest some time in the design of a small, fast running turbine. This time will pay off, because you save costs and gain reliability.

    Best of Luck

    n.rusche att gmx dot net

  • Jule Miller

    Restructure wheels. Place on ends and put then in the water with the shaft sticking strait up. Block off half of the water on the bank side. That way it will not interfere with other uses of the water, like boats and floating debris. A concave spin wheel like in hydro electric dams would be better than flat panel wheel. If China would use this style they could power the whole country.
    Jule Miller – Fairbanks Alaska

  • Michael Hertel

    Hi, Please attempt a scaled model say 4 feet long mounted on edge of river and using that determine if this is possible. A small (low cost) generator connected to each rotating spin wheel via a transmission will most likely be better. Note you may have problem with debris and river traffic and maintenance.

    best of luck. Mining engineer, WI

  • Dorin

    You will be much better off if wheels are coupled to independent generators as suggested by others above. This makes the system resemble hundreds of years old systems in Eastern Europe…

  • Kay Farooquee

    As suggested by Dorin, you will be better off using small generator (one per wheel), these water wheel should not be fixed on pillars , i think floating on two or three floats depends on width of river. you may connect many generator to increase out put, it is much easier to connect few wires then mechanical work.i may make some drawing and E,Mail to you if you are still working on this Please let me know. Thanks .

  • Maj (R) Naeem Khan

    It is possible but on a control channel, not on a main stream. You require some modification in the design.

  • Conner Denning

    Is it possible to decrease the size and use a turbine thats run off the same energy to make an automotive engine?

  • Conner Denning

    Is it possible to decrease the size and use a turbine thats run off the same energy to make an automotive engine?

  • Fernando Cóbar

    Good day, I like the concept, maybe not on an open river or stream. I think that this concept could work in a controlled open channel, with many small units down stream. I don’t recommend the system in an open river, because of floods and the river behavior. Also you have to think of the distance between each propeller, because of the turbulence sequence between each propeller. It’s a good concept and I think it will work, just need to improve some aspects of your final design and put it to work in a real river or channel.

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